Speaker Straus may have a hard time filling the slots on House Appropriations. It’s no fun to serve on Appropriations when there isn’t any money. Not only will members not get to stash away a little money for their districts. They will also be under pressure to vote to send the bill to the House floor. Many members, Rs and Ds alike, will not want to cast that vote. No Democrat is going to want to vote for the bill as it was filed, and there is little likelihood that it is going to get better in committee. Republicans will be whipsawed by the Tea Party on the one hand and on the other by the big institutions back home that depend upon state funding: public schools, hospitals, community colleges, and universities. The plea of the leadership in these circumstances is, “Just vote to get it out of committee and we’ll fix it in Conference Committee, but this session there is nothing to fix the bill with. Committee members are going to find themselves sucked into the quicksand of no viable alternatives. Maybe this is a good session to sign up for the new Government Reform committee.
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Weekly dispatches from the middle of the road of Texas politics.
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